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Thursday
Feb182010

Plane Crash in Palo Alto Causes Many Businesses and Community to Activate Disaster Plans

As I often say, business disruptions come in many forms, not just from earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes.

This point made clear again from the events yesterday morning when a small plane struck a tower that was a single point of failure which carried electricity to the Palo Alto power grid.

The loss of power disrupted roughly 28,000 customers which included, 240 startups and high tech companies such as Facebook headquarters (the Facebook site was unaffected), VMware, and HP. At least Two medical facilities were on back-up generators and had to cancel elective surgeries and re-route emergency patients to other area hospitals.

At least two cell towers were not working, and some land-line services were disrupted, and the areas banks had to activate their contingency plans.

Authorities were asking people not to call 911 regarding the outage, and to reduce water usage.

You can see more on the City of Palo Alto site.

Tesla Motors suffered the worst loss. The three people who died in the plane were employees of the company, and my thoughts and prayers go out to them, their business, and family members who are affected by the loss.

If any good might come from such a tragedy I hope that it makes people aware how vulnerable we are to events such as this, both in our personal lives and from the point of view of business.

 

AP News Video